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3 astounding survey results you didn't know about

It's hard to describe how much surveys benefit not just businesses and consumers, but people in general. You can learn a tremendous amount just by carefully designing a questionnaire and distributing it to a large enough sample of people.

That's what you do every day you fill out surveys for money. Your answers become data points in a cluster of thousands, telling researchers what trends will influence people tomorrow.

There's so much companies and organizations learn from asking enough people the same few questions. If you need any more convincing, consider these three surveys you may not have heard about.

Is TV going extinct?
While a majority of people still own and watch TV, more people are switching to online media and streaming every day. According to the numbers, it's changing the way people watch TV today. Whereas viewers used to tune in to programs, commercials and all, at certain scheduled times, a poll by Forrester showed that fewer people are following this linear pattern of watching. Business Insider reported that just 46 percent of people between 18 and 88 watch that style of TV in a given month.

Social media: not just for kids
If you think millennials are the only ones on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all the other social media sites, guess again. Older adults are the new kids on the block, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. For the first time ever, the 2014 PRC Social Media Update showed that over half of adults over the age of 65 are on Facebook. The survey also showed that over half of adults in general use two or more social media sites. As for Facebook, 71 percent of adults are on the site.

Fewer people are smoking - sort of
You may have heard that there are less younger people smoking today than ever before. That may be true for cigarette smokers, but cigarettes aren't the only part of the equation. U.S. News & World Report noted that more high school seniors are smoking e-cigarettes, according to the 2014 Monitoring the Future survey. The study found that 17.1 percent of high school seniors said they used e-cigarettes within the past month compared to just 13.6 percent who said they used conventional cigarettes.

The data might say something even more interesting about younger students. According to the responses, smokers tend to use regular cigarettes less the younger they are. Roughly 21 percent of smoking seniors said they never used traditional cigarettes, while 36 percent of smoking eighth graders said they never used them.

Surveys are perfect for discovering trends and finding actionable information that businesses and other organizations need to make decisions or simply learn something about society. When you answer those questions, you're becoming a valuable part of the process.

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